The best urban destinations in Wales

Cardiff, photo by Nigel's Europe on Flickr

Wales is one of the most scenic parts of the UK, and it is home to some famously beautiful landscapes and national parks. And while the Welsh countryside has many eye-catching spots and it is one of the main reasons why people visit this stunning country, the urban destinations of Wales are not a bit less interesting. The towns and cities of Wales are the perfect level of picturesque in order to compliment  the wide-open spaces and lovely vistas in the rest of the country, so no visit to Wales would be complete without exploring the urban side as well. From medieval towns to modern cities and everything in between, the best urban destinations in Wales are simply unforgettable.


The Welsh capital has long been seen as an industrial city with little to offer to visitors, but nothing could be further from the truth. Cardiff is a city where the modern aspects are more obvious, but history is nonetheless cherished and lovingly displayed. This bustling city is today one of the best shopping destinations in the UK, and the many pedestrian areas lined with cafes and restaurants are now famous and especially recommended in summer. Historical landmarks like Cardiff Castle and modern works or art like the Wales Millennium Center are must-see for all visitors.


Conwy, photo by Alex Liivet

Some say that the true capital of Wales is actually Aberystwyth, a lovely coastal town full of historical charm and made lively by its large student population. Aberystwyth  is the heart of Welsh culture, being home to the oldest part of the University of Wales, the Welsh National Library and the Welsh language movement. The nightlife of Aberystwyth  is legendary, and student tales claim that there is a bar for every week of the year in the small town.


Although Bangor have fewer traditional attractions, it is an utterly picturesque and captivating city surrounded by a lovely landscape – the Strait of Menai, and very close to Snowdonia National Park. Although it is fairly small, Bangor is a lively university town with much to offer in the way of nightlife. The quaint fishing harbor, the castle and Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery are some of the most interesting sights in the city.


Aberystwyth, photo by Angella Streluk

The small town of Conwy is the best preserved medieval gem of the country, and one of the best urban destinations in Wales if you like historical architecture. Not only does Conwy have a stunning castle, old city walls, one of the finest Elizabethan townhouses in the UK and several small and quaint churches, but it is also a gateway to Snowdonia National Park and the Isle of Anglesey.


The largest Welsh seaside city is as lovely as its name, and it is located on the Gower Peninsula, the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK. There are several Celtic historical sites in Swansea, like the 13th century castle, or the mythical Arthur’s Stone, a Neolithic burial chamber, and the 19th century Mumbles Pier. Art lovers will be able to browse through the countless galleries and museums in the city.

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